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This review is taken from PN Review 89, Volume 19 Number 3, January - February 1993.

A NEED TO GAZE AT THE WORLD Modern Poetry in Translation, new series, no. 1, Summer 1992, £9

The forty-four issues of Modern Poetry in Translation (1966-82) have justifiably become collector's items. Its successor, Poetry World, though no less ambitious in conception and admirable in its achievements, appeared only twice, in 1986 and 1988. The rebirth of MPT, with Arts Council funding and under the publishing imprint of King's College London, testifies to its editor Daniel Weissbort's indefatigable refusal to let public narrowmindedness deflect him from his attempt to make 'world poetry' a fact rather than a pipe-dream. Not surprisingly, the first number of this new series could scarcely augur better; the range and depth of its contents are a triumphant demonstration of what taste, discrimination and sheer commitment can achieve, with the right support, in the teeth of the chill wind of indifference.

MPT (n.s.) 1 devotes almost one-third of its generous format (200+ pages) to an Yves Bonnefoy special feature guest-edited by Anthony Rudolf, which includes (with the exception of the whole of section three of What was without light) items elsewhere unavailable, and thereby guarantees maximum attention given Bonnefoy's current eminence. Rudolf contributes 'An unwriting of Yves Bonnefoy' aptly titled 'The Love of Mortal Things' based on the first four (of only five) books of poetry. A specially commissioned essay by Richard Stamelman deals with Bonnefoy's 'need to gaze at the world' both as it is, as captured in the act of painting, and as he turns his head from whatever book he is reading, somewhat in the spirit of Marcel Proust. ...


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